Friday, August 21, 2015

Walker tricked: Business loves Quality of Life, Smart Employees, Recreation, a Safe Place for Families! Cost of government, not so much.

I know, another story showing Wisconsin losing to Minnesota. But now we're talking about something Republicans can't stop talking about and can't live without; lower taxes. Minnesota has lower taxes, and they didn't have to stop funding their state parks, their university system, public schools and halt road construction. All false choices sold to willing "Stand with Walker" dupes.
Tax and spin: Most families in Wisconsin, it turns out, would save on taxes by moving to Minnesota: Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton, has pursued the sort of agenda that might cause Walker to break out in hives: expanding union membership, increasing school funding and  — most notably — implementing a tax hike on the wealthiest Minnesotans. 
As it turns out, "Wisconsin has some of the highest residential property taxes in the country"
The result is that across every income bracket, homeowners in Wisconsin pay a higher share of their income to property taxes than those in Minnesota, according to data compiled by the Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy, a nonpartisan think tank that studies tax policy … for all but the top earners,  property tax rates are low enough to make up for higher income tax rates. 
Of all the things that could have been changed by Wisconsin Republicans, they left one thing out:
Unlike Minnesota and all but seven other states, Wisconsin is required to tax all property equally, be it commercial or residential. That means Wisconsin can’t shift any of the tax burden from homeowners to owners of other types of property, as many states do (including Minnesota). As a result, Wisconsin’s high property tax essentially wipes out any savings most taxpayers would see due to the lower income, sales and excise taxes compared to Minnesota. In fact, the only group that faces a higher tax burden in Minnesota than in Wisconsin are families with household incomes over $200,000. 
And despite helping small businesses in Wisconsin, we're not seeing the intended result. Guess what, it's all about the quality of life, strong schools and recreation, all things of no interest to Walker or Republicans:
David Ross, president and CEO of the Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce, says that’s partly because moving a business can be risky, if for no other reason than political ideology can change with each election. Instead, what’s reliable is a quality work force — the main incentive for businesses to locate in an area, as is quality of life. 

Ross said “The cost of government is certainly, within a state, an important factor to keep in mind. (But) people want to live in a community where there’s a strong public school system, where it’s a safe place to raise a family, where there’s strong recreation. I think those states that are focusing on cost of government are in a bad place. We’re promoting much more lifestyle and a place to live, not just a place to work. ... So I am not impressed with the position of Walker.”
Wisconsin will have a long road back, to even catch up.

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